Simple Wikipedia: A Great Resource for Aspiring TESOL Teachers

Finding interesting motivation reading resources for adults and older kids can be a challenge if you are a TESOL teacher. Most books are either too long, too difficult or not interesting.

One great tool that can help TESOL teachers and ESL students is an offshoot of Wikipedia - Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

What does Wikipedia offer the TESOL Teacher?

  1. It offers a simplified version of articles written for those who don't yet comprehend higher levels of English.
  2. A large database of (Apr. 2009) over 57000 articles covering Law, Government, Arts, Science, Culture and Religion.
  3. Enough stuff to satisfy most kinds of students.

How can a TESOL Teacher use this resource?

There are three obvious ways: home reading, class reading activities,

Supplemental Reading

Within the considerations of the licensing of Wikipedia, you will find that you can use articles for supplemental reading for students. For example, if you are teaching a course of American Culture, you may prescribe some articles as their home reading.

Since most students have a PC and Internet these days, you can simply email or print out the links to the articles in their handouts. TESOL teachers will find it easy to choose some articles but listening to your students' feedback will help you choose ones that are more interesting for your ESL students.

Class Reading Exercises

Choosing specific articles that read well, are accurate and appropriate in length, you can create handouts based on their content. TESOL Teachers can prepare the handouts that look at the language in the text, ie. tense usage or adjectives; or comprehension questions to test students' understanding of the article; or to provide stimulus for discussion or writing tasks; or even be used for vocabulary instruction.

Project Work: Multi-skills

If you have enough time and a big enough class, you can set up project teams to create a podcast or publish a newsletter. The teams can read articles in the Wikipedia, then compile, write and edit different reports for the project.

For younger learners, creating appropriate artwork will allow them both a practical and artistic grasp of the content. For TESOL Teachers, this represents a more challenging project because you have to really know what your students can do.

So, do check this resource out! In fact, if combined with a basic grammar and vocabulary activities, you should find it just easy to help your ESL students improve their reading.


Visit http://www.tesolteachers.com/ to get more great ideas for your future career as a TESOL Teacher. Kenneth is a successful teacher with many years of experience in ESL for both kids and adults in Taiwan. For TESOL advice and help, check out his column at http://www.tesolteachers.com/newsletter and subscribe today.


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